◀ ▲ ▶History / 19th-century / Person: Burkhardt, Heinrich Friedrich Karl Ludwig
Person: Burkhardt, Heinrich Friedrich Karl Ludwig
Heinrich Burkhardt was a German mathematician who worked on the theory of the elliptical functions, series expansions, group theory and the history of mathematics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Burkhardt attended the gymnasium in Ansbach, also in Franconia, before entering university to study mathematics in 1879.
- At this time the standard pattern for German students was to study at a number of different universities and this was precisely the route followed by Burkhardt.
- Burkhardt was appointed to the post of assistant at the University of Göttingen in 1887 and he habilitated there in 1889.
- In 1897 Burkhardt was appointed to an ordinary professorship at the University of Zürich, succeeding Arnold Meyer (1844-1896).
- Perhaps Burkhardt is best known as one of Albert Einstein's examiners.
- In 1905 Einstein submitted his thesis On a new determination of molecular dimensions to the University of Zürich and Burkhardt was appointed to examine the thesis.
- From Zürich, Burkhardt moved to a chair at the Technical University of Munich in 1908.
- Other topics on which Burkhardt published papers included groups, differential equations, differential geometry and mathematical physics.
- The mathematical public may well congratulate itself that a mathematician so thoroughly familiar with all sides of the subject as is Professor Burkhardt has undertaken the task of writing an elementary work along these lines.
- It is indeed remarkable, as Professor Burkhardt observes, that up to the present time no work on the elliptic functions has treated the theory from Riemann's standpoint.
- By seeking everywhere the simplest form of treatment, Professor Burkhardt has succeeded in compressing a great deal into a very small compass.
- This work was very popular and further editions where published by Burkhardt in 1903, 1907, and 1912.
- Then in 1921, G Faber, who succeeded Burkhardt at the Technische Hochschule in Munich, supervised the publication of a further edition of Burkhardt's text.
- Included among Burkhardt's historical works are Die Anfange der Gruppentheorie und Paolo Ruffini Ⓣ(The beginnings of group theory and Paolo Ruffini) (1892) and Entwicklungen nach oscillierenden Funktionen und Integration der Differentialgleichungen der mathematischen Physik Ⓣ(Developments after oscillitary functions and integration of the differential equations of mathematical physics) (1904-8).
- In 1907 Burkhardt published Vorlesungen über die Elemente der Differential-und Integralrechnungen und ihre Anwendungen zur Beschreibung von Naturerscheinungen Ⓣ(Lectures on the elements of differential and integral calculations and their applications to the description of natural phenomena) which was written as an introductory text for students of chemistry, mineralogy, and statistics.
- The founders of the Encyclopädie der Mathematischen Wissenschaften Ⓣ(Encyclopedia of mathematical sciences) were Wilhelm Meyer, Heinrich Weber, Walther von Dyck and Felix Klein.
- Early on, before even the title of the encyclopaedia had been decided, Klein proposed that Burkhardt be invited to join the committee.
- This committee had quite a difficult time since Burkhardt, Klein, von Dyck and particularly Meyer, never seemed to agree readily on any of the important decisions.
- Burkhardt collaborated with Wilhelm Meyer as joint authors of the article on potential theory which they wrote for the Encyclopädie in 1899.
- Burkhardt wrote several other important articles for the Encyclopädie including Trigonometrische Reihen und Integrale Ⓣ(Trigonometric series and integrals).
- Burkhardt was the only professor from the University of Zürich on the organising committee.
- Burkhardt also attended the 1904 ICM in Heidelberg and the 1912 ICM in Cambridge.
- Zygmunt Janiszewski, Isabel Maddison, Ludwig Berwald, and Edward Van Vleck are among the many students that Burkhardt taught, and these four are included in this archive.
Born 15 October 1861, Schweinfurt, Germany. Died 2 November 1914, Munich, Germany.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive